The HOME program is a federal housing program established by the U.S. Congress as part of the Cranston- Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990. It is a flexible housing block grant that is distributed on an entitlement basis to states, larger cities and consortia of smaller communities. The Commonwealth's allocation of HOME funds is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
How it works:
Typically, DHCD administers HOME funds for rental housing production and rehabilitation. At least 15% of HOME funds must be awarded to nonprofit Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), as defined by HUD. Approximately 60 nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts are eligible to apply to DHCD to become certified as CHDOs.
Historically, DHCD has used HOME funds for first-time homebuyer housing production and many of these units carry long-term resale restrictions; currently, DHCD does not make HOME funds available for this purpose.
Rental programs are targeted to households earning less than 60% of area income. Homebuyer programs are targeted to households with incomes below 80% of area median income.
HOME funds are awarded competitively to projects meeting certain threshold and underwriting standards.
Who is eligible:
For-profit developers, non-profit developers, non-profit organizations constituted as CHDO's and municipalities. All applications require the approval of the chief elected official of the community.
Typically, the maximum award amount is $750,000-$1,000,000 per project. Rental HOME awards are made as soft loans to eligible recipients.
Typically, Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) are issued once or twice a year for the rental program. Projects primarily serving homeless and/or veterans populations may be eligible to apply on a rolling basis. The following guidelines apply to the different types of HOME projects:
Rental program applicants are eligible to apply for 30 year deferred payment loans to support acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing structures or new construction for multifamily rental use. The minimum project size is five assisted units. Typically, loan amounts are capped at $750,000-$1,000,000 per project and $50,000 per HOME-assisted unit in HOME entitlement communities and $65,000 in non-entitlement communities. All units must be targeted to households earning no more than 60% of area median income. Twenty percent of the HOME-assisted units must be affordable to households earning no more than 50% of area median income.
For more information:
Please call the Division of Housing Development at (617) 573-1300.
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